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Img. ID: 349191

© Samuel D. Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2012
Name/Title
Monument to the victims of the round-ups of July 16-17, 1942, in Paris | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1994
Active dates
Reconstruction dates
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
France | Ile-de-France région | Paris
| Square de la Place des Martyrs Juifs du Velodrome d'Hiver
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Category
Material / Technique
Bronse, concrete
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
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Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
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Colophon
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Group
Group
Group
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Summary and Remarks
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History/Provenance

The monument commemorates the round-up of 14,000 Jews in Paris and their detainment in the Vélodrome d'Hiver, an indoor velodrome (cycle track) at the corner of the boulevard de Grenelle and the rue Nélaton in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Eiffel Tower.  The deportees, many of whom were women and children, were held in the velodrome for several days before their deportation to transit camps, leading in turn to their removal to Auschwitz, and their deaths.

A national competition was held in 1993 “to find a new, more suitable memorial expression for the site.” On 3 February 1993, then-President François Mitterrand commissioned a monument to be erected on the edge of the quai de Grenelle, near where the Velodrome d'HIV stood.

Polish-born Holocaust survivor Walter Spitzer was engaged as the sculptor and Mario Azagury as the architect. The monument is on land given by the city of Paris and paid for by the Ministère des Anciens Combattants (Veterans Administration [Am], Old Soldiers [Br]) and is cared for by the Ministry of Defense.

The monument was dedicated on 17 July 1994, and since then a ceremony is held at the site every year.  At the ceremony in 1995 then-President Jacques Chirac, successor to Mitterrand, spoke about the guilt of the French police and gendarmerie who collaborated with the Germans in the deportation of the city’s Jewish inhabitants. 

The deportation of Paris's Jews was one of many callous acts of French collaboration in Nazi aims, which have gradually received more attention in France and abroad. Émile Hennequin, director of the Paris police, ordered on July 12, 1942 that "the operations must be effected with the maximum speed, without pointless speaking and without comment."  Local police reports document that beginning at 4:00 a.m. on 16 July 1942, 13,152 Jews were arrested, of which 5,802 (44%) were women and 4,051 (31%) were children.  Some people were warned by the French Resistance or hidden and escaped being rounded up.  The arrested had to leave their homes quickly - they could take only a few items; blanket, sweater, shoes, and two shirts.  Conditions in the velodrome were horrendous, with little food and water, few toilets, and no other amenities. The deportation was remembered in Marcel Ophuls documentary The Sorrow and the Pity (1969) and more of an attempt to visually recreate the internment was made in the film Sarah's Key, released in 2010, based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Tatiana de Rosnay.  

Members of the Parisian Jewish community have criticized the monument because it does not in any way specify the Jewish identity of the victims of the roundup, nor, despite its foregrounding of a little girl holding a baby doll, indicate a high percentage of children interned at the Velodrome ‘Hiver. The inscription mentions “antisemitism,” but does not use French words for Jews, Jewish, or Judaism. Unlike many other monuments there are no explicit Jewish symbols nor are the sculpted figures and their belongings shown with any Jewish attributes. This deliberate omission is in keeping with a long French governmental policy that strives for cultural leveling, a policy that was explicitly violated in the targeting of Jews.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Samuel D. Gruber | 2012
Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 2013
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.
A420262